At least eight people killed in huge landslide in northern Nepal

It blocked a river and several villages will be swept away if the dam bursts

Click to follow
The Independent Online

At least eight people have died in huge landside that buried houses and buildings in Nepal.

The death toll could rise further as attempts are made to rescue people from homes under piles of rocks and soil in the Sindhupalchok region.

Rubble has blocked a mountain river near the village, causing the water to form a lake that threatens to burst through the temporary dam and sweep away several villages.

More than 40 people have already been injured and several are missing after the landslide and flooding caused by days of torrential rainfall.

After an emergency meeting, Nepal’s Home Ministry ordered the army to remove the blockade and release the water, while preparing for a disaster if the banks of the two mile long lake burst.

Gopal Parajuli, the chief government administrator in the area, said explosives were flown in by the army to make holes in the dam.

The rainfall finally stopped on Saturday, allowing rescuers to airlift some of the injured villagers to hospital.

The Arniko highway that connects Nepal to Tibet, has been closed and authorities have told residents to move to higher ground for safety.

Telephone and electricity lines have been disrupted but radio stations aired the warnings and police are using loudspeakers, officials said.

Landslides are common in mountainous parts of Nepal during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September.

Another landslide in May 2012 killed at least 26 people when it blocked the Seti river in northwest Nepal, causing a flash flood that swept away several villages when the dam burst.

Additional reporting by AP